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Barca star on the comeback trail

SURGERY: Eric Abidal

BARCELONA'S ERIC Abidal is hoping to make a return to football before the end of the year. The defender has not played since April when he underwent a liver transplant but he believes he will have fully recovered by December.

The French international had surgery to remove a tumour in his liver in 2011 but a transplant was needed to resolve problems with the original operation. Speaking to Barcelona’s official website, he revealed his target for his comeback:

“'I have started working in the gym and I feel fine. I will keep progressing and see if I can play before December.

'I'm better than three months ago. I am following the guidelines that the doctors have given me and the truth is I feel fine. I travel and enjoy being around the team and that environment.”

Yesterday (August 4) Abidal travelled with the squad to Paris for their pre-season friendly against Paris Saint-Germain. The game ended with a penalty shoot-out victory for the La Liga side.

The 32-year-old signed a new contract at Barca in January, keeping him at the Camp Nou until Jun 30 2013. He has made 120 league appearances for the club since he joined them in 2007 from Lyon and has won an impressive 22 major titles during his time at the two clubs.

That tally includes two Champions League titles and he memorably played the full 90 minutes of Barca’s 3-1 win against Manchester United at Wembley in 2011. Carles Puyol handed him the captain’s armband and allowed him to lift the trophy to mark his comeback from his initial surgery.

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